Presenting Group Project on Ties That Bind!!

My group (b.RO, Inish, Seranox, Ace) will be presenting our project related to theme Ties That Bind this Thursday!! Check out the Facebook event page and make sure to attend!! http://on.fb.me/Rhfij1

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Week 8 – Group Progress

As we reach the end of the semester and our group project comes to a closure I’m confident we our on the right track and will present something spectacular. In terms of my own contribution to the group project, I have completed a variety of tasks necessary and contributed graphic for to add to the development of the project. In the beginning I met for many group meetings and we talked about what path we should head down. We first began to talk about what Ties That Bind mean and how we can represent this theme in Second Life. We decided it meant, to summarize, that all social networks are connected to one another and even if you try to move yourself away from one you will be pulled back by another. To represent the various forms of social networks and media Inish built running man robots that were connected to computer cables/electricity, which was connected to the central eye, globe, and computer of the project. I designed the mapping texture for these robots to illustrate three different forms of social media. I designed one to represent YouTube, another to represent Facebook, and another to represent Second Life. 

By connecting all three to the same cable, shows that they are all connected, and thus representing Ties That Bind.

In developing our project to fit in the Amphitheater the best it could we decided to set it up there and see how it looked and what adjustments we could make.

We noticed that there was extra space on the sides of the the project and instead of just having the ocean in the background I designed a graphic piece to represent walls. The piece I designed says ties that bind 2.0 and has various forms of social media connected to it. With little animated dashed lines coming from the words “ties that bind 2.0” and then connected to various social networks, one can see that they are all connected to each other. I made connecting lines to Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, YouTube, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. At first glance of our project, it may be a bit confusing of what it represents, but these walls I designed are to help clarify our idea to the audience.

Besides these graphic contributions, I have contributed ideas of adjustments Inish should make to the build or add, and ideas in general on how we could go about improving our project. I helped gather resources to help with the build, ie. the electricity for the cables and I am now starting to help film. After our meeting after last class we decided our next step was to go to various sandboxes in Second Life and set up the project and film it and people’s reactions. We thought coming up with questionnaire before hand would be a good idea. 

After we are finished filming we will give our video to Ace for her to edit and put together for her contribution to the project.

When considering shortcomings and failures, we have had better luck than most groups, but there is always room for improvement. The biggest concern was successfully meeting together will all members, it seemed that every meeting one if not two members was missing. However because we were so successful with using other forms of social media to communicate we were still able to progress our project. Even if a member missed the meeting, they were informed with what they had to do. By keeping everyone up to date we have been able to create an overall great project with contributions from all members. Another thing to keep in mind is that when we present we need to make sure everyone is %100 clear on the idea and knows what to say. I am not worried though since we communicate quite well, and we all know what what our project represents. We just need to figure out the order of who talks when and things like that. We will present one week from today, and I am hoping for the best, but I am quite confident in my group that will have something amazing to show! I have prepared a short presentation for next class describing our project and our progress and am ready to talk about it right now!


Week 7 – Team Working (Sitearm’s Presentation)

For progression to occur in a successful manner in the group project, Ties That Bind, it is necessary for each member to take on various roles from Belbin’s Nine Team Roles, as outlined by Sitearm Madonna. Without prior knowledge of Belbin’s Nine Team Roles, members of my group have already taken on some of these roles in the advancement of our project. For example, one of the nine rules is specialist, and each member has taken on this role to contribute to the group with what they have the most skills with. I will provide graphic design skills, Inish will provide building skills, Ace will donate her media/film editing skills, and Seranox will add his graffiti skills. Other roles such as, new ideas planter and team worker, are also taken on by each member. In this way each member is able to contribute various ideas into a pot so we have a vast amount of ideas and are able to decide as a group on what is best for our project. Furthermore, while we are communicating in Second Life and sharing our new ideas, other new ideas come on the spot from hearing what everyone has to say. It is best for some roles to be taken on by a sole person in order to progress forward and not be stuck and a stand still bickering because we can’t decide on a conclusion. Roles such as coordinator are taken on by Inish. Even though we our doing a group project it is necessary to have a neutral facilitator and that is where our team member Inish excels. Because Inish stepped up to the plate from right form the get go we have been able to progress further than other groups. Instead of worrying about when we were going to meet, we could instead think about ideas to contribute to our project for the set meeting time.

A member’s role in the group can shift from one to another depending on the current tasks that need to be completed, that’s why a neutral facilitator is so important. For example, when putting our project together, research was needed in order to figure out how to make our ropes look more like cables with electricity flowing through them. At this point it was necessary, for me to take on the role of resource investigator, suggested by Inish, to search Second Life for better suited options. After finding a successful animation we could use, my role changed from resource investigator to team worker/specialist in order to advance with the next steps of the project. I was then required to use my graphic design skills to create a design for the back wall of our project in order to attract people in Second Life to come over and ask us questions about what our project was and its purpose. At our next group meting I will shift roles again to new ideas planter, along with all other team members, and we will discuss anything new that needs to be done. Even though team members may shift roles from time to time, it is necessary that they stay focused on the current role required of them in order to advance as quickly as possible.

Sitearm Madonna also talked about form, storm, norm, perform in terms of project approaches. Our group completed the form step at our first meeting, we where briefly talked about ourselves and mentioned what we were good at. We then entered the storm stage and talked about what does Ties That Bind really mean and how are we going to represent this. The next step was the norm stage, we all decided on one goal and each member focused on certain roles which all contribute to our mutual goal. The perform stage is yet to come, but when our group  presents we need to make sure that every member is on the same page in terms of what we are going to say and how exactly we are going to present.

We need to stay focussed and each member needs to take responsibility for the remaining parts of our project. Our group has done a lot of work so far, and we are on the right track for success!


Week 6 – Working in Groups / Content Creation part 2

Our group has had several meetings thus far, unfortunately we never seem to have all of us be able to meet at the same time, however we are still making progress! Last Thursday, I met with Inish before class to discuss the future of our project. We talked about how we wanted to represent “The Ties That Bind” by having a central computer computer with strings coming off of it connected to robots pulling away. Each robot would represent a different form of social media (ie. facebook, twitter). They would be pulling away but be getting pulled back to represent that in real live it’s very hard if not impossible to move away from social media all together. Even when you delete your account of one of the social networks, other platforms and networks are pulling you in. No matter how far away they pull they can’t get away completely.

Inish gave me a “running man” for my inventory, and taught me how to place them, adjust, add textures, resize, etc. I messed around with the figure for a while and then we talked about how once our project was all built and complete we could place it in random beaches in Second Life and see how people would react. We could then film it, such as with a plane flying above it, and then show the complete edited video as well the actual built project for our presentation.

In terms of editing the texture of the robots Inish gave me a mapping.tga file to be able to edit in Photoshop to fit our project needs.I would then upload to Second Life and attached to the figure to represent various forms of social media.

After class our entire group met (Ace, Seranox, Inish, and myself) and everyone was happy with the direction our project was going. Since Seranox has graffiti skills we decided that he could paint the wall behind the built project to represent the various forms of social media instead of the robots representing them. Or maybe we could do both. We are still deciding how to correctly represent social media between the robots and the wall. Seranox also thought it would be a good idea to have an eye on top of the project to further represent the internet and our group agreed this was a good idea. Ace is studying media and thus, we decided it would be best for her to film the project (ie. people’s reactions in Second Life on various beaches) and then edit and put the film clips together.

On Monday, November 19th, I met with Inish and Ace to further discuss our project’s direction. Inish made some great adjustments to our project over the past few days, take a look below to see!

We further talked about each person’s role and what he or she needed to accomplish in order to complete this project. In order to attract people when we would go around to the various beaches of Second Life, we would need a sign on the back of the wall. I will be making a sign that says Ties That Bind and mentions something such as, “Ask Us!” in order to get fellow Second Lifers to come over and ask what our project is and what it represents. I also we will be working on textures for the robots.

In terms of adjustments to the current project, we decided that it would be a good idea to have more then one cable coming off of the globe/eye to represent more than one form of social networks. This one cable could represent Facebook, and then we could have another cable coming off with say two robots to represent Twitter, and so forth to represent multiple forms of social media sites. We also decided to change the cables to make them look more like actual cables with electricity flowing through them. Inish knew of us a place in Second Life that had great animations. She teleported me and we explored the vast possibilities we could use to create a more realistic look of representing the flowing of information between the internet and the robots. We ended up deciding on the white static electricity seen below the blue and green tubes on the left.

There are still more adjustments and additions to come, and we will do our best to complete this project!

In conclusion, working with my group so far has been a challenge with meeting at the same time, but we are still able to make progress. In order to make this project the best we can we have to try and and coordinate so everyone is there so we can discuss our ideas at the same time! Even if our meetings our brief, that way everyone is on track with what they have to do. However, I believe our group will pull through and we have an amazing finalized project!


Week 5 – Content Creation

Online content creation has become a big issue in today’s world due to issues of copyright and licenses. People attempt to create their own versions of licenses and the problem with this according to Shenlei Winkler blog post, “The reasons we find these licenses is disturbing are many: in general, content creators are not lawyers, nor do they seek legal counsel in developing their license agreements”. These content creators do not have the expertise to generate a proper license, and instead create ones that are poorly written and even at times go against former licensing agreements set forth. People don’t fully comprehend the rules of copyright and licenses and thus, create problems. For example, if a license allows people free public and commercial use of online content and someone uses the material and makes a big profit, the original owner may see this and in return change his license to also try and make a profit. This license adjustment is not allowed and when the original owner attempts to go after people making a profit from his work, he or she will find no beneficial solution and instead just create problems. Thus, it is a lesson for the original owner to specifing how he must be compensated for the use of his content in the license right from the start.

In reviewing this policy of no adjustment, one must consider terms and conditions and how it is possible for these to constantly change. The difference is that terms and conditions often have a clause in them that gives the company/person the right to make future adjustments. When the user accepts these terms and conditions when registering with the website or software, he is accepting the fact that there could be future changes in the terms and conditions.

Online content creation includes such a wide variety of materials, from Facebook to photos to SL created content. It is very easy to take someone else’s work and post it somewhere else without giving any credit. At times, people may not even realize they are stealing someone else’s work. While looking at a report by PewInternet one can see that teens 12-17 do more online content creation activities, such as remixing, blog posts, and sharing than adults who are 18 or older. Young teens, especially at an age as low as 12 may not even understand the rules of copyright. Therefore, they flood the internet with online content that has been detached from its original owner. The more common this procedure becomes, the more likely more and more people are also going to do the same because they will think it can’t be that wrong if so many people are doing it. People get away with illegally sharing other people’s content and never having to suffer to the consequences too often. As an everyday user of Tumblr, I see this problem occur on a constant basis. Over half the work shared and posted on Tumblr has no mention of the original creator. Before the readily availability of the internet, to steal someone’s work, such as material from book, would be a lengthy task and process. These days, a copy and paste and five minutes of searching the internet will suffice to complete this same task. It is too easy to infringe copyright of online content.

With the majority of the internet being younger than older, it appears that the younger generations do not give the same importance to copyright as the older generations. This is a problem because people are not getting the proper credit and therefore there business/work is suffering from receiving its full potential and profit. While exploring the website SNPROS suggested by Inish, I discovered the value of my twitter account is $7.80. This is an interested estimate for my account, considering that it based off tweets or retweets only. It’s giving my account a value for sharing other people’s content. It does not take into account the issue of copyright either.

In conclusion, online content creation needs better patrolling to help maintain owner’s copyrights intact. The internet is so big, and there is much content out there that is it impossible to patrol everything. People just need to understand that it is illegal and they need to do what’s right and not share other people’s content without giving proper credit.

Sources

1. “Content & Licensing in Virtual Worlds,” last modified October, 2010, http://shenlei.com/2010/10/13/content-licensing-in-virtual-worlds/.

2. “SNPROS,” last modified November, 2012, http://snpros.com/twitter/medoskateboard/.

http://snpros.com/twitter/medoskateboard/

3. “Social Media and Young Adults,” last modified February 3, 2010, http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Social-Media-and-Young-Adults/Part-3/6-Content-Creation.aspx.


Week 4 – Regulation, Convention, Etiquette in Online Communities

Regulation, convention and etiquette in online communities is just as important as in real life communities because without them, online communities would result in utter chaos. In modern times, a vast majority of communication, business, etc. is accomplished online and because of this professionalism is just as important online as it is in real life. Rules and etiquette are important in every aspect of life and without them, the world would not function in a beneficial manner. Regulation, convention, and etiquette helps online communities flourish in a positive way and protects them from deteriorating do to nuisances like porn and spam.

According to the The Core Rules of Netiquette, Rule five talks about making yourself look good online and how you will “be judged by the quality of your writing”. When trying to give an image of professionalism, the user can not user abbreviations or emoticons. There are different online communities, where these are acceptable, which is which it is important to pay attention to the etiquette of the current website, for they slightly differ from one website to the next. In terms of businesses, just as how you would want to make yourself look nice when going into the office and talk in a professional manner, you want to do the same online in order to give off a professional image. Without using proper etiquette and regulation online, the business will not be able to obtain the same amount of cash revenue. Consumers will think it is a scam, or not the best materials, and go elsewhere. If you don’t care about your image online, why should the consumer care about your business?

When entering a new online communities proper etiquette and regulation may not be noticeable at first, but it is indeed important to act in rightful ways. There are lot of difference between online communities, cultural backgrounds, what is and is not acceptable in different places, etc., and without online etiquette and respect for other users, the entire internet would become a giant flamewar. In order for websites to successful function, users must respect the differences and opinions of others.

If websites do not control etiquette online it can scare users away to other platforms and online communities. For example, in Jenny Preece’s essay, Etiquette Online: From Nice to Necessary, she talks about the fact that the “Lack of etiquette is weakening sociability and even destroying online communities”. With so many available options on the net, if a user does not like the lack of professionalism a website presents or the attitude of the users, then he or she can easily move on to another online community that respects rules and etiquette. That is why it is important for the moderators to enforce regulation and rules to make sure the etiquette of the users is appropriate

It is a necessity for many websites to have a terms and conditions explaining the proper methods to act and function in their online community. In addition, Out-Law’s article, Website Compliance: 1o Tips, states that terms and conditions are required because they cover “core issues such as liability, content control, law and jurisdiction”. Terms and conditions lets the user know what is and is not acceptable. Websites have terms and conditions to protect themselves, for when a users acts against the terms and condition the website moderators then have the right to take action against the user, whether it be banning the user or taking them to court for a more serious matter, such as copyright.

Copyright is another reason, regulation, convention and etiquette are important online because without regulation and rules people could claim anyone’s work as their own without punishment. The true artist,creator, owner of material then loses business and attention because of the false identity. Even though there is diffferences from one online community to the next, rules from the real world still come into play, or as Kate Roseanne puts it, “the notion of applying so-called “real-world” laws extends across all these differing platforms“. Regulation of online online communities help to insure that copyright laws are enforced and protect the original owner.

In conclusion, reason, regulation, convention and etiquette are important in online communities because they help keep order. Copyright, terms and conditions, moderators, are all things that help keep the users in check and make sure that acting in ways they are supposed to be. It is because of things like these that businesses and communities are able to thrive.

1. “Website compliance: 10 tips,” last modified 2008, http://www.out-law.com/page-5813.
2. “Etiquette Online: From Nice to Necessary,” last modified 2004, http://bit.ly/SMLRUD.
3. “Law and order in online communities: How real-world laws have evolved to impact online behaviors,” last modified April 23, 2012, http://networkconference.netstudies.org/2012/law-and-order-in-online-communities-how-real-world-laws-have-evolved-to-impact-online-behaviours/.
4. “Rule 5: Make Yourself Look Good Online,” last modified 2011, http://www.albion.com/netiquette/rule5.html.

Week 3 – Blog Update

Our group had another meeting on Tuesday at 8PM. We met at Inish Karu’s home creation and then all boarded a ship and set sail! Inish’s friend Cybob was captain of the ship so we all could sit down and enjoy the adventure! As we traveled through the ocean sea we shot off the ship’s canons to demonstrate the ship’s power! Don’t mess with us!

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As we journeyed through the sea, we discussed which social networking site would be best for our group. We decided on using Facebook because two of the members of the group, Inish & Ace, already had a Facebook account for their avatar set up. In attempting to set up a Facebook page for my avatar, I ran into trouble using my actual avatar username, “b.RO”. Facebook new that it wasn’t a real name and thus, wouldn’t allow the account to be created. Therefore, I set up an avatar with the name “Bob ROach“with my alternative name showing up beside it as b’Ro. This was the closest I could get to my actual username, so it will have to suffice. 

Furthermore, we decide on using Facebook has our social networking platform because we felt that it was the easiest to connect with additional people. More people use Facebook than any other social networking site. In attempting to publicize our group project, Facebook will be the best means of advertising. The more people that hear about our group project, the better, and thus Facebook will help us complete this goal!